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Webinar: Early Waterworks on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula: The Facilities and the Water

Date, time & venue

2022-04-14;6:30 – 7:45 pm;Webinar via Zoom

Webinar: Early Waterworks on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula: The Facilities and the Water

Date: 14 April 2022

Time: 6:30 – 7:45 pm

Venue: Webinar via Zoom

Organizer: Safety Specialist Committee (SSC)

Speaker: Dr. S.W. Poon 


Professional Background of the Speaker: 

Ir Dr. S.W. Poon Dr. Poon is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong. Previously he was Associate Professor, Deputy Head and Acting Head of the same Department.

In 1970s, he studied Structural Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic. Later he obtained an MSc in Construction and the PhD from Loughborough University, U.K.

He is a Chartered Structural Engineer, a Corporate Member of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and a Member of Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

He worked in consulting firms for several years before commencing teaching and research at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The National University of Singapore and The University of Hong Kong.

Initially he was interested to study temporary works design and construction, and investigation of accidents and failures during construction. In the last two decades his research interest has focused on historic construction works as below:

Centenary Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam History of Quarrying in Hong Kong

Historic Lighthouses in Hong Kong and nearby Places

Exportation of Quality Granite to the Pacific Rim in the 19th and 20th Century

Heritage Waterworks on the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula


Programme Highlights: 

Reliable supply of quality water is vital to residents’ well-being and sustainable development in Hong Kong, which has come in a no easy way in a place with steady increasing population but lack of large natural lakes or rivers. For over 160 years the engineers have been playing an important role in providing the necessary waterworks for such achievement. 

Inspired by the accidental discovery of the Bishop Hill service reservoir and its resonance, this talk aims to take a retrospective view over a spectrum of heritage waterworks that have not only helped shaping Hong Kong but laid a sound foundation for subsequent upgrading and expansion in supplying potable water. Findings of the research is based on the study of archives of the earliest waterworks on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula between 1860 and 1912, and visits to these heritage works.

Firstly, the origin of Hong Kong’s waterworks, and the historical and contemporary significance of the early waterworks are reviewed. Special attention is given to those facilities in connection with the earliest impounding reservoirs such as Pokfulam Reservoir, Tai Tam Waterworks Scheme, the Pumping Station at Yau Ma Tei, and Kowloon Gravitation Storage Reservoir.

Secondly, the clues to the design and construction of the Bishop Hill Service Reservoir are postulated by back analysis and reviewing similar construction works in the early twentieth century.

Finally, the history of the quality of water in tandem with the installation of related waterworks is examined. 

Registration Link:

Webinar: Early Waterworks on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula: The Facilities and the Water (google.com)






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